Listening to a Bing webinar in the background whilst pushing on with some web design work the other day, my ears pricked up when they confirmed something that SEO people know but possibly not the average business owner.
When your site comes up in the search results and somebody clicks on you, Bing monitor the time before somebody comes BACK to their search engine. So, if you have dull, or uninteresting content, then people will switch back to the search results quickly to look at further results and your page will be demoted in the results.
If you ask me this is the one real measure that the search engines have to indicate quality of results: forget Likes on Facebook, Tweets on Twitter and Pins on Pinterest, which can all easily be ‘gamed’ by the big companies (and are). So, WRITE ENGAGING, INTERESTING CONTENT, INCLUDING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS – get people to linger on your site longer and not only will the search engines rank you higher, your customers are more likely to buy from you as well.
Check out bounce rates and average times on sites in your Google analytics – and look for pages that stand out as being worse than others (especially look at top landing pages – the first pages that people see on your site when they come to it). Possibly put an advanced segment in place to focus on just those users coming from search engines to eliminate skew from any AdWords or other advertising that you might be running.
(Note: Google also use this mechanism; in fact they have the timings for a large portion of pages viewed on your website courtesy of Google Chrome browser users – you didn’t think they gave it to you for nothing did you? When they say it is “free”, they mean “free, but we’ll take all your usage data and use it to our own purpose” – personally I don’t equate that with “free”, but that’s another blog post)